$4.07 million to support work done by centre

Delegates at the United States Embassy support for Pacifi c Financial Technical Assistance Center (PFTAC) announcement at the Reserve Bank of Fiji in Suva yesterday. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

FIJI has benefited immensely from operations of the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Center (PFTAC) over the years, says Reserve Bank of Fiji deputy governor Esala Masitabua.

He made the comment as the United States Embassy yesterday announced that the US was contributing $US2 million ($F4.07m) to PFTAC.

Mr Masitabua said PFTAC had also fostered and supported regional synergies that extended beyond bilateral scope of engagements.

The US Embassy charge d’ affaires Tony Greubel said they were pleased to help support PFTAC’s macroeconomic and financial training and technical assistance programs that were working to strengthen the resilience of Pacific island economies against volatility associated with natural disasters and economic shocks such as COVID-19, ensuring public finances were sustainable and growth was inclusive.

“Through its focus on training and capacity development, PFTAC will help build human capital and resilient institutions, helping enable Pacific island countries to build their economies on a strong foundation,” said Mr Greubel.

He said through its focus on training and capacity development, PFTAC would help build human capital and resilient institutions, helping enable Pacific island countries to build their economies on a strong foundation.

“We also fully support expanding PFTAC’s work to enhance debt transparency and sustainability and to help Pacific island countries avoid debt distress—both in the short term due to COVID-19 economic shocks as well as the long term.”

PFTAC director David Kloeden said they were grateful for the financing and commitment of the United States government to the economic development and future of the Pacific, particularly given these difficult COVID times and the future recovery.

“The lion’s share comes from six donors, namely the Asian Development Bank, Australia, Canada, the European Union, Korea, and New Zealand,” he said.

Mr Kloeden said COVID-19 had a dramatic impact on every country in the world and the Pacific and a lot of technical assistance provided to the member countries had turned towards issues of highest priority of responding towards the crisis.

“While there is not much positive to say about COVID, one advantage has been that the frequency and participation of our engagements have increased.

“This is particularly important given the strategic direction and oversight that the steering committee provides, particularly during these turbulent economic times from the COVID crisis while continuing to grapple with ongoing challenges like climate change,” he said.

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